Thursday, April 16, 2015

texting

Just this week Yusuf started texting.  I'm happy to be on his shortlist of contacts:P

I don't often get to check my messages during the workday.  I checked at lunchtime and I found this gem waiting for me.  If his message is any indication I'm focusing on the right stuff.  Also, I will do well to be open to what Yusuf and Nooriya have to tell me.  Their logic is sometimes simple and flawless.



Thursday, April 09, 2015

Ground Breaking

Last week the site of my eventual home was cleared.  There used to be a house there and now it's gone.  Construction has started and now this new house which I've been thinking about and imagining for a while has taken a step that makes the whole thing real for me in a way it wasn't before.

First, Taher you can't think or say Alhamdolillah enough for being able to do this.

I read Zahra's thoughts about this and I feel very much the same.  It got me thinking about all the house stuff I've focused on recently.

Zahra and I have spent alot of time and energy over the last several years talking about and thinking about this home.  It was an idea and all of a sudden it became real for me.  I was aware, on some level, throughout of thinking about this home and the future.  I would pause and remind myself that I didn't want to focus too much on the future, on the "finish", for fear of not really being present.  I'm happy to realize I wasn't actually focusing on the "finish".

Now that this house is more real I should be more excited.  Just for the record I'm mega excited.  But I've realized now I will miss my time with Zahra thinking about this part of the future.  I will miss making these tiny decisions about small details in the house.  I will miss doing this project with Zahra.

I don't know that I've written down effectively what I want to be reminding myself.  I guess it's simple.

Taher: It's not about the finished product, enjoy the project.

I plan to enjoy the rest of this project.  And then, Zahra, I promise to think of another one:P

Monday, March 23, 2015

Focus

I'm "going through" something that's out of my control.  I'm in my head and I'm pretty sure I'm the only person who cares or really even notices.

I've tried to "solve" the problem many different ways, but I haven't really been successful.

This is good reminder to me that there are many things that seems like a problem I can solve, but they're not really in my control.

It IS in my control to decide what I focus on.  I can spend my energy focusing on my "problem" or I can focus on other stuff.

Friday, March 20, 2015

Connections

I am reminded today that there's lots of distractions and other stuff in life.  The most important things to me are connections with people.

My strongest and most important connection celebrates an 11 year milestone today.

Zahra, thanks for helping me see the difference between important stuff and everything else.

Monday, March 16, 2015

Man in the Mirror

This is one of my favorite songs.  I've heard the lyrics so many times I don't think about them as much as I used to.  I read this and the sentiment was fresh again.  Hopefully, writing it down helps internalize it a little more...

"Wishing to regulate their families, they first cultivated their persons. Wishing to cultivate their persons, they first rectified their hearts. Wishing to rectify their hearts, they first sought to be sincere in then-thoughts. Wishing to be sincere in their thoughts, they first extended to the utmost their knowledge."

Saturday, February 14, 2015

Game of inches

I've been reading about the criminology Broken Windows Theory and it's made me appreciate a perspective I've tried to stay away from.  Basically, the idea of Broken Windows is fix the little things and big problems will get better.  In New York, the theory was put into practice a while back to clean graffiti and make sure people paid for the subway.  Little things as far as crime in New York goes.

There's lots of statistics that are attractive and lots of data out there saying that this was a good idea. The evidence-based thinking appeals to me a lot.

For a long time, I've been trying not to 'sweat the small stuff'.  I've tried to focus on the big and material things.  Figure out what's important and don't worry too much about the rest.  I am rethinking that.

This theory obviously extends beyond criminology.  The things that stay with me and probably everyone else are the little things.  Every interaction is a chance, an opportunity, to have a great interaction...or a not-so-great one.  Each interaction like a possible baby step to something better; each one a chance to be a better husband, dad, and person.  After a bunch of baby steps I can end up in a very different place.

Maybe the better way to think about everything is pretty much the opposite, 'sweat the small stuff'.

Saturday, January 31, 2015

Routine

Zahra has written about our morning routine a couple times.  It's had me thinking more and more about my routine...

I have read about the physical and mental health benefits of kids having a routine.  There are many.  I'm very happy to help make a routine for them.  I try to do many things with them regularly and even daily.  It seems to be working.  The kids know what to do and what's expected.  We've made it pretty structured.  I've watched them grow and enjoy the routine.

I've become aware lately that I really appreciate this routine.  Making a routine for them has become as much a part of my day as theirs.  It compartmentalizes the parts of my day and gives me the ability to focus better on what's happening now.  I look forward to the parts of my day that I get to share with Zahra, Yusuf, and Nooriya.  Compartmentalizing the other parts of my day lets me truly be there more.  That makes it even better.

I get routine in a way that I didn't before and it makes me realize how important it is for me to be a part of their routine.